The Forever Purge Movie Review
The Purge franchise is the kind of sort-of-but-not-entirely-trashy entertainment that keeps on giving, and it’s back with The Forever Purge, which, as you might suspect, is about America falling into chaos as its “day of murder” overflows under the weight of ignorant, right-wing militia members seeking to eradicate the nation of pigment-gifted people.
This movie must be about Antifa, right?
What started in 2013 as a claustrophobic, low-budget horror-thriller starring Ethan Hawke has turned into a sprawling film franchise with less-than-subtle overtones of class warfare and racial justice. What it lacks in nuance it makes up for with a delicious taste for the macabre, built on a surprisingly reliable premise that, amazingly, can go in quite a few directions. None of the movies have been spectacular, but most have been good, and satiate the same part of the brain that probably would appeal to the violent scum The Purge flicks unfairly paint as the bad guys.
The Forever Purge does, in some ways, “goes bigger” than any previous film, though the core plot is similar to past entries (a group of “good” people, this time played by Ana de la Reguera, Tehnoch Huerta, Josh Lucas, and Cassidy Freeman, attempt to survive a murderous rampage), and if anything feels smaller in scope.
Director Everardo Gout, in his first feature-length film since 2011, delivers a consistently entertaining if somewhat disappointingly straightforward experience. Unlike some of the past films, it’s fairly well written, with no overly obnoxious character to be found this time around. It looks good, and feels less rough-around-the-edges than its predecessors.
However, it lacks the flare, flamboyance, and eccentricities you might expect from the franchise, which really peaked with its first sequel, The Purge: Anarchy. That movie thrived by being less concerned with politics than it was in being absolutely bonkers, yet since then the franchise has gotten less creative in many ways. The Forever Purge continues that trend, though thankfully it isn’t dull like The Purge: Election Year (2016) was.
While it’d be great to see the franchise get back to its roots--in the wake of January 6, 2021, fantasy is starting to look more real than ever, and frankly I’d love to watch another Purge movie that just has some innocent people going up against a bunch of truly twisted and disturbed individuals--The Forever Purge is another consistent entry in this consistent series.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.